Re: TE a Position of Strength for 2013 Pats?
posted at 6/8/2013 3:02 PM EDT
In response to zbellino's comment:
In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
There are two question marks. First is the injuries--will they be healthy? The second is talent. While Gronk is a proven All Pro in my opinion, I am not quite as enthralled by Hernandez (too many drops and fumbles and a bit of inconsistency in his play last year); Ballard had one decent year (after bouncing around practice squads as an undrafted rookie in 2012); Hoomananui is a reasonable back up, but not a quality starter; Fells hardly contributed last year despite injuries that gave him opportunities; and the other two guys (Sudfeld and Ford) are undrafted rookies who haven't proven anything.
I'm optimistic that things will work out well in the end, but no, I don't think you can confidently say that the TEs are necessarily going to be a strength this year that we can rely on to carry most of the offense. Because of this, we really need to work on getting more versatility in the offense with a wider selection of wide receivers and backs who can contribute.
Judging by the attention he garners from opposing DCs, I think the NFL is sold on Hernandez as a talent.
Yeah, he doesn't have the surest hands, but they also aren't an issue. He isn't leading or even top 30 in drop rate among qualifiers, so it's just a minor drawback. However, he is terrific at getting open and dynamite after the catch and pretty versatile.
On another team he is a 1000 yard Hback guy.
It's not his fault that this team runs every single quality target over each other.
Fair enough, and injuries last year may have contributed to his inconsistency. He wasn't on the field for long enough stretches maybe to really reach his full midseason stride ever.
The drops did seem more noticeable to me last year compared with the year before, but I haven't looked at the stats.
Update--some analysis here: